TAMPA, Fla. - Transportation troubles caused most of California's 172-member delegation to miss the opening of the Republican National Convention today.
The four buses assigned to carry delegates, alternates and guests from their hotel in St. Pete Beach to the Tampa Bay Times Forum ran more than an hour late Tuesday afternoon, with all but 30 delegates boarding their shuttles for the 25-mile trip as the convention got underway at 2 p.m.
Spokesman Mitch Zak said issues with security checks and traffic closures contributed to the delay.
"The logistics at this convention are something else," delegate Don Genhart of Palm Desert said as he waited in line for a bus outside the TradeWinds Island Grand resort.
The first hour was mostly filled with welcome remarks from Republican National Committee and local officials. Delegates milled around on the floor as a live band played between the brief speeches.
The last buses carrying delegates arrived at the convention site at about 3:05 p.m. - minutes after California 9th Congressional District candidate Ricky Gill appeared on stage to give a roughly 2-minute speech.
The main attractions of the day -- speeches by Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- won't start for hours.